Cuomo Has ‘No Intention’ Of Getting Involved In Senate Fight
One of the big question marks – and there are several – in the ongoing battle over control of the state Senate is what Gov. Andrew Cuomo might do.
Prior to the elections, it was widely speculated that the governor would prefer to see the Senate remain in Republican hands – a belief underscored by the fact that he approved the GOP-controlled redistricting plan after repeatedly insisting he would not approve anything other than independent and apolitical district lines.
But after the Senate Democrats surprised everyone by winning 31 seats, and perhaps as many as 33, depending on how the 41st SD and 46th SD contests shake out, on Tuesday night, the pre-election thinking has gone out the window.
If the four-member Independent Democratic Conference opts to remain neutral, neither returning to sit with their erstwhile colleagues nor siding with the Republicans, then neither side will have the magic 32 seats necessary to control the chamber.
That’s unchartered territory, and could threaten to return the Senate to its bad old days of dysfunction and chaos. Does anyone really think the Republicans and Democrats are capable of playing nice enough to run the chamber TOGETHER? Just think about all the factions that exist within the two conferences – ethnic, regional, political etc. – to say nothing of the inter-conference squabbles.
Dysfunction in the upper house is certainly not in Cuomo’s best interest, particularly not when the state could be facing a bigger-than-expected budget deficit, thanks to Sandy, and he’s gearing up to seek re-election himself in 2014.
Nevertheless, Cuomo insists that he has no plans to interfere in any legislative leadership battles – at least for now – in either house.
“I have no intention of getting involved in either situation,” the governor told reporters today.
“…On the Senate it is more complicated than it use to be,” Cuomo continued. “It was just Democrats and Republicans and whoever had more was in control. Now it’s more of a coalition, because there are three groups instead of just two.”
“And they come to an arrangement among themselves and whoever gets two out of three winds up winning. Right? So, that’s what they will be going through over the next couple months while they are also deciding.”
“Some of the elections aren’t decided, so they will be going through actually counting ballots to see how many won, and then what’s the new governing coalition going to be.”
“…No one is going back (to dysfunction). I think they learned the hard way. The Democrats were in power. The Democrats than lost power because of the dysfunction. And I think they learned that lesson the hard way.”
It’s interesting that the governo chose to use the term “coalition” when discussing the Senate. Is that some kind of coded message indicating that what he really wants is to see no one in control? Unclear.
Sen. Mike Gianaris, the DSCC chairman, was on CapTon last night, and I put the coalition question to him. His response:
“The last time it was tried here in New York, it led to catastrophic consequences…However that turned out, I don’t think we want to go down that road again.”
“The fact is, we have clarity here. The voters of this state have made it very clear what they want to see. They want to see a functioning Democratic majority in the state Senate, and we’re ready to give it to them.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Democrats, Republicans, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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